Clopixol - For schizophrenia treatment
This article was medically reviewed by M.Pharm, Marko Tanaskovic on Thu, 27 Dec 2018. To read more about an author, click here.
Clopixol is a medicine that contains an active substance called zuclopenthixol. It belongs to the group of antipsychotics (classified into the group of thioxantenes). It works by blocking the dopamine receptors as well as 5-HT2 receptors. It is used in the treatment of schizophrenia and psychosis.
Clopixol should be avoided in patients allergic to active substance zuclopenthixol or other similar drugs. If you are experiencing symptoms of an allergy, such as:
- itchy skin,
- swelling of the face,
- swelling of the tongue,
- redness of the skin or difficulty breathing
contact your doctor immediately.
It should be avoided in patients with a decreased level of consciousness (e.g. due to excessive alcohol consumption or due to the use of certain drugs) as well as in the patients with brain injury.
Clopixol should be used only with extra precautions in the following conditions:
- In patients with adrenal gland tumor (pheochromocytoma).
- Breathing problems.
- In patients with a heart diseases (angina pectoris, heart failure, or arrhythmia-irregular heartbeat).
- In patients suffering from epilepsy.
- In patients with Parkinson's disease.
- Patients with glaucoma (increased eye pressure).
- In patients with myasthenia gravis (severe autoimmune neuromuscular disease).
- Kidney diseases.
- In patients with thyroid disorders.
- In patients with diabetes.
- In patients with electrolyte imbalance (potassium, sodium, magnesium and calcium).
This medicine, like all other antipsychotics, can cause a neuroleptic malignant syndrome which manifests itself with following symptoms:
- fever (high temperature, above 38 Celsius),
- involuntary prolonged muscle spasms (muscle rigidity),
- disorders of consciousness,
- urinary incontinence (loss of bladder control),
- difficulty breathing and others.
This side effect occurs very rarely, but caution advised, since this condition can be life-threatening! Inform your doctor immediately if you are experiencing any of the abovementioned symptoms.
Do not stop using this medicine abruptly, because it may cause withdrawal syndrome. The dose should be gradually reduced. Consult your doctor before stopping this medicine.
It must be used with extra precautions in the elderly patients because of higher risk for side effects in these patients.
Use of Clopixol during pregnancy and breastfeeding
It should be avoided during pregnancy unless the benefit to the mother outweighs the risk to the child.
Avoid breastfeeding while using this medicine, because this medicine passes into breast milk.
How to use
The usual dose is 10 mg to 50 mg per day. Treatment will usually start on low dose that can be gradually increased until an appropriate effect is achieved. Your doctor will give you a small dose to begin with.
Swallow the tablet whole with a glass of water. Do not chew or crush the tablet, as this may affect its efficacy. Clopixol should be taken regardless of food, because food does not affect its efficacy.
Treatment should last at least few months.
Do not stop using this medicine abruptly. You will need to gradually reduce the dose. Consult your doctor before stopping this medicine.
It should be avoided in combination with alcoholic beverages, due to an increased risk of side effects.
Use with other medicines (Interactions)
Clopixol should be avoided in combination with the following drugs:
- Warfarin (Farin), a drug used in the treatment of blood clotting disorders (also known as blood thinner). Concomitant use of this medicine with Clopixol, increases the risk of bleeding.
- Drugs used in the treatment of high blood pressure (hypertension) and arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat), as well as other drugs used in heart diseases.
- Other antipsychotics. Do not use other medications to treat psychosis and schizophrenia while using this medicine.
- Drugs used to treat epilepsy.
- Levodopa, a drug used in the treatment of Parkinson's disease.
- Erythromycin, a drug used in the treatment of bacterial infections (usually in the cold). Concomitant use with this drug increases the risk of QT prolongation which can cause arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat) that can be life-threatening.
- Ciprofloxacin (Ciprocinal, Cifran, Ciprinol), a drug used in the treatment of many bacterial infections. Concomitant use of Clopixol with this drug increases the risk of QT prolongation and can cause arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat).
Tell your doctor about all medications and herbal products you are taking.
Clopixol may cause extrapyramidal syndrome, which manifests itself in the following symptoms:
- slow movements (bradykinesia),
- involuntary movements,
- muscle spasms (especially the jaw, back, arms and legs)
- and acathisia (a feeling of inner restlessness).
Increasing the dose of Clopixol increases the risk of this side effect.
It may cause QT prolongation and cause serious cardiac arrhythmias. Therefore, extra precautions are necessary in patients with heart diseases, as well as in the patients taking other medicines that may also cause QT prolongation.
Clopixol can cause a decrease in the number of white blood cells (agranulocytosis), causing a lower immune system function. When your immune system is weak, you are more susceptible to infections Therefore, it is necessary to contact your doctor if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, such as:
- sore throat, because it can be a sign of agranulocytosis.
Clopixol may cause the following side effects:
- increased appetite,
- weight gain,
- blurred vision,
- mood swings,
- neuroleptic malignant syndrome,
- abdominal pain,
- urinary disorders,
- decreased libido,
- gynecomastia (breast enlargement in men),
- erectile dysfunction,
- allergy and others.
Tell your doctor if you are experiencing any side effects.
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If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.